Signs of Depression

signs of depressionDepression is not a single diagnosis but a spectrum disorder that strikes everyone differently. Though it is normal to feel sad when overwhelmed, frustrated or upset, a depression diagnosis is only given when certain diagnostic criteria are met. The signs and symptoms that will add up to a depression diagnosis will vary depending upon the type.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), some of the most common depression diagnoses include:

  • Major depression
  • Persistent depression disorder
  • Psychotic depression
  • Postpartum depression
  • Seasonal affective disorder
  • Bipolar disorder

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

The specific depression disorder plaguing the patient will define how often, how intensively, and for how long each patient will experience any combination of the following symptoms, according to NIMH.

  • Feelings of emptiness, anxiety or sadness that are chronic in nature
  • Lacking any hope or optimism for the future
  • Feeling unworthy of the love of others, guilty for attitudes or behaviors, or unable to manage basic tasks
  • Irritability, agitation or restlessness
  • Lack of interest in old hobbies, usual activities or any forms of entertainment
  • Lack of energy
  • Sleep disruption (e.g., sleeping too much or struggling with insomnia)
  • Disrupted eating patterns (e.g., binge eating, lack of appetite or eating unhealthily)
  • Difficulty focusing, remembering things, following through and/or making decisions
  • Physical ailments (e.g., headaches, muscle or bone pain, achiness, digestive problems, etc.) that are not remedied through medical treatment
  • Suicidal thoughts, talk of suicide and/or suicidal attempts

When to Act

Because depression is a common issue and it may come and go in cycles, it can be hard for concerned family members to determine when it is time to take action and help their loved one find treatment. As a general rule, any of the following issues indicate that it’s time to get help:

  • Co-occurring anger management issues that put the safety of others in jeopardy
  • Symptoms of depression that are so intense that they make it impossible or difficult for the person to go to work, manage the household, and otherwise keep up with life
  • Substance abuse and/or addiction, especially when it increases the severity, duration or frequency of depression symptoms
  • Signs of other commonly co-occurring mental health symptoms and disorders, such as anxiety, panic, PTSD, phobias, and/or severe physical health problems (e.g., heart disease, obesity, etc.)

How to Help Your Loved One Heal from Depression

Intensive and integrated treatment to address all issues blocking your loved one’s ability to maintain a healthy and balanced life is the most effective way to proactively take a stance against depression. Because depression is a psychiatric illness, it will require medical and psychotherapeutic intervention. The rehab program that you choose for your loved one should offer:

  • Pharmacological treatment (e.g., antidepressant management), if needed
  • Psychotherapeutic treatment (e.g., personal therapy, therapy to address trauma, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, support groups, etc.)
  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders, especially substance abuse disorders
  • Holistic treatment (e.g., yoga, meditation, acupuncture, nutritional counseling, life coaching and more)
  • Aftercare and ongoing support

Learn more about how we can help your loved one overcome depression here at The Oaks at La Paloma today. Our admissions coordinators are standing by at 901-350-4575 to assist you.